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April 20 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

In-Person Snowy Plover Patrol Training – April 20, 2024

We will be hosting a 2-night virtual event and an in-person event for Snowy Plover Patrol training in 2024. The training will be presented virtually on Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and in-person at Nehalem Bay State Park on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The first two hours will be the indoor learning portion, followed by an optional two hour field trip to the Nehalem Snowy Plover Management Area to practice observing plovers (weather dependent).

Each version of the training will be divided into four learning modules. They cover all relevant topics needed to understand and survey for Snowy Plovers and what we can do to help them. Anyone interested in learning about Snowy Plovers or in participating in our Plover Patrol community science program is welcome to attend.

Meeting location: Nehalem Bay State Park day-use parking area (southmost, ocean access); $5 day-use parking fee or annual pass to park

What to bring (recommended): Notebook, binoculars, spotting scope, camera, water, snacks, beach-ready attire (there will be a few optics available to borrow)

Bird Alliance of Oregon is partnering with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Institute for Natural Resources to monitor threatened Western Snowy Plovers at six sites along the North Coast (from Fort Stevens State Park in Astoria to Sitka Sedge State Natural Area near Pacific City) running from April through September. We are looking for volunteers to perform weekly nest monitoring surveys and/or plover detection surveys up to twice a month. Surveys may be conducted alone or with one or two others. Surveys take between 2-5 hours depending on the site. Some sites will require walking several miles on sandy beach habitat. Learn more about the Snowy Plover Patrol.

For more information or to RSVP, email Cara Gates, Coastal Community Science Biologist, at cgates@birdallianceoregon.org.

Snowy Plover mom and chick
Snowy Plover, photo by Mick Thompson

Training Modules and Requirements

New volunteers must attend all 4 learning modules to meet the requirements for the ESA-issued Section 10 permit that allows us to survey for this threatened species. While not mandatory for returning volunteers, attendance is highly recommended for refreshing on Snowy Plover knowledge and survey methods. There will be a recap and quiz in the last module. Regardless of your interest in volunteering, all are welcome to join the virtual training to learn more about Snowy Plovers and the Plover Patrol program.

After attending the virtual or in-person training, volunteers wanting to conduct nest monitoring must attend a field training before surveying alone.

Module 1: Life history, threats and decline
Content: Snowy Plover Identification, Similar Species, Life History, Habitat, Behavior, Threats and Decline

Module 2: Legal status, management strategies, and recovery
Content: Understanding the Endangered Species Act, Legal Status, Management Strategies, and Recovery

Module 3: Survey training, data collection, and beach safety
Content: Survey Protocol, Tips, Data Collection, and Beach Safety

Module 4: Virtual Survey
Content: Beach Simulation, Recap, and Quiz


April 20
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Nehalem Bay State Park
9500 Sandpiper Ln
Nehalem, OR 97131
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Cara Gates